Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks announced Tuesday the approval of eight projects helping to increase habitat access for brown and rainbow trout. The projects also help manage native and non-native fish.

According to the news release, funding is received by the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission, part of the Future Fisheries Improvement Program (FFIP). Roughly 240,000 dollars was approved to improve fisheries across Montana. Funding was matched from outside sources by 950,000 dollars. Nine proposals were submitted, and eight were approved: seven are east, and one is west of the Continental divide.

Certain improvements for fisheries include stream habitat installation, keeping fish out of irrigation diversions, improving and protecting critical fish habitats, and more. The Buer Pond fencing installation near Scobey, Montana, is one approved project helping to improve livestock management and the lake habitat for yellow perch and largemouth bass. 

Other approved projects include the restoration of the Wilson Creek Stream and floodplain near Bozeman, Montana. In the Butte area, fish barriers at Bryant Creek will be installed. Reactivation of the Bighorn River side channel near Hardin is another approved project. A fish barrier supplement at Mill Creek will be installed near Livingston. Near Lewistown, there will be the Middle Fork Judith Road Decommission and rehab in the area. The North Boulder Fish passage is approved for the Whitehall area. Restoration MPG at Miller Creek near Missoula is also approved. 

Any group or individual with projects in mind that aim to restore or enhance fish habitats can apply for FFIP funding. Interested applicants are encouraged to work with a local fisheries biologist from FWP. Applications for the winter cycle for the FFIP grants are due by November 15, 2022, and can be sent to the FWP Fish Habitat Bureau. Fill out an application online or apply at an FWP office.